Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rules of Engagement

I hate to think of myself as losing momentum so early in the game, but here we are: three days later. You know I've been making decisions the old-fashioned way. Logic, logic, logic. Does anything say mid-thirties like a responsible, well-balanced decision-making process?

I've got to kick it into gear here.

In the past two days, I've driven out to the Hangar at Downsview Park twice, and both times I was convinced I'd come home with a story. Last night we watched what I'm sure is the closest derby bout I've ever seen, between the Death Track Dolls and Chicks Ahoy. You'd think I could have RPS'ed Mach Wheels for a place in the bathroom line-up, or at least thrown down with the Derby Nerd for a beer. I was back there today with the Hellatubbie for jr derby practice: nothing. This brings about an interesting question. I've been so interested in the response of those in the know, I forgot the one who knows most: me. Is it possible that I'm censoring my own battles? What I mean is, what creepy mind trick do I need to play on myself in order to hand over the reins? It turns out I don't like to lose. If my son's response is any indication, you people are all going to use this against me. Am I really just afraid this scissors-only gig will turn me into the easiest girl in town?

It gets worse. About a year ago, I paid $40 for a 70s-era, wooden stereo console at one of the weirdest open houses I've ever seen. (I was only sorry I didn't have more cash on me: the pyramid of basement concertinas was a bargain.) I shuffled the console into my hatchback on my own, and then out again into my old digs on Pearl St. The speakers pay out way more than what I'd bargained for, and even though the turntable is less-than-dreamy, we weigh the arm down with pennies and use it to play our collection of Dolly Parton and Yves Montand vinyl, anyway. Last week I awoke to find the dog had chewed right through both the cord I use to patch my laptop into the speakers and yikes! the original power cord. Lesson: no one should ever own a dog.

Yesterday I took the whole thing into the boys at Superfuzz to see if it could be saved. It was raining pretty hard and the shop was full, so Tim brought an armful of fix-it things out to the street and leaned into the car to fix the console, while I perched just inside the back, under the open hatch. (How's the dog? he asked. She's a jackass, I said.) In the end he got a vintage plug back onto the end of the cord and requested payment in the form of six cans of London's Finest Porter. England was about to take on the US, and there's an LCBO within a hundred metres of the shop. I cheerfully complied.

Now don't tell me there wasn't an RPS moment somewhere in that exchange. There was: even I knew it. So why didn't I offer it up? I don't even think it's as simple as win/loss. It's about quality: Tim's an awesome guy, but in the preview of my mind, I knew I just wasn't going to get the money shot in the middle of rainy Dundas West.

In what limp version of a Seinfeld episode do I start deciding whether or not a guy is Scissors-worthy?

Next week: 5 perfect strangers. Promise. Promise.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Flesh of my flesh.

We had to leave for school early this morning. It was a surprise (to me) owing to my daughter’s sudden climb to the heights of June celebrity: she made the track team, high jump division. City finals are next week. Get jumping, kids. Get jumping before 9 am.

So we’re in the car and it’s early, it’s especially early for Mommy, who was out last night conspiring with Natalie Zed to... well. We wonder if women really aren’t allowed in bathhouses in Toronto or if that’s just a myth. Don't worry. Time will tell.

So we’re in the car, and it’s early is what I’m saying. And what I’m saying to the kids is this: Remember how I had that My Life As Scissors idea? (Nora: Yes. Desmond: What.) The idea where for a whole year I decide things by Rock-Paper-Scissors? And I only throw Scissors? (Nora: Did you see MY post on Facebook. It’s called: paper beats rock? okay, I’ll throw a rock at you, and you defend yourself with paper. [laughs, looks out window, ignores everyone else in car.] Desmond: complete silence.)


Desmond: So I’m having pop.

Me: What.

Desmond: I’m having pop.

Me: It’s 8 am. When.

Desmond: Today. Okay Rock-Paper-Scissors, Mommy! Right now! You have to! You have to throw Scissors!

Me: I’m driving! OW!

In the 40 metres between my parking spot and the school’s front entrance, he also RPS’ed me for the ingestion of chips and “a really good dvd rental from 2Q."

  1. I see now that this is going to cost me.
  2. I’m concerned over the definition of “really good dvd rental.” I stopped sending the kids down to rent movies by themselves when I figured out that 2Q generally mixes the porn in with the regular new releases. It’s newly-released porn.

What the kid doesn’t know is that this game is going to be all in the loopholes.

image: Lisa Austin

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Let it begin.

Oh, June 9. Day of no new beginnings, ever; day of rain.

Until now. Half a year ago, driven to the edge by the one-millionth year-of blook experiment (insert here: local food, no Chinese products, Noah-style beard-growing, doing whatever Oprah says... ) and fuelled by half-an-evening's worth of New Year's Eve-type beverages, I announced to a room of disinterested partiers and Jake Mooney that I would herewith begin my own experiment: My Life As Scissors was born.

For one year, I explained, I will commit to decision-making Rock-Paper-Scissors-style. With one rule: I always throw scissors. Jake thought this was a pretty good idea; he was probably pretty inebriated, but no matter. His tiny smile of encouragement took hold. And starting today, June 9, I'm following through on the idea at long last.

Originally, I thought Scissors was just the ultimate in gimmicky, inane, rules-to-live-by tricks: what I wanted to do is expose how gimmicky and inane these projects are. (I'm pretty sure that'll still happen.) But the more I thought about it, the more I grew to like the idea and its implications. I can't make every decision via RPS, but I do swear to throw scissors at least once a day. And while this will prove pretty random where strangers
are concerned, it's the A-listers who know what I'm up to that interest me most. How do people behave when they know they're in control of the outcome? Go ahead: hit me with your best shot. When the hands all fall, you know what I'm throwing down.